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Former defense ministry official is suspect in new criminal case

May 28, 2013, 17:29 UTC+3

Vasilyeva was placed under house arrest on November 23, 2012

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MOSCOW, May 28 (Itar-Tass) - Former director of the Defense Ministry's property department Yevgenia Vasilyeva is a suspect in a new criminal case over sale of state property at understated prices, and sale of public land in St Petersburg, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.

The military investigation department for the western military district opened a criminal over illegal sale of Defense Ministry property, under Article 286, Part 3 of Russia's penal code /exceeding of authority which resulted in grave consequences/.

"It has been ascertained that in September 2010, the Defense Ministry, in the person of director of the property department Yevgenia Vasilyeva signed a contract of sale for the property complex located at Vasilyevsky Island, Shkipersky Protok, House 12a. The contract was signed with the TransStroi company. Under the deal, six non-residential buildings, and a 48,000 square-meter land plot were transferred from federal into private ownership for 525 million roubles," the SK said.

In the summer of 2011, this property was resold to new owners of the Novy Dom company at 603 million roubles. "At the same time, according to the expert appraisal, which made it possible to open the criminal case, the market value of the property in question as of the time of sale reached over one billion roubles," Markin said.

Under the ruling by the arbitration tribunal of St Petersburg and the Leningrad region, part of the land alienated from the state is a riverside strip of a water body which cannot be sold.

On this ground, the property on an area of more than 11,000 square meters reverts to the federal state property management agency, according to the spokesman.

Investigators are now looking into the circumstances of this crime.

Earlier this month, Moscow's Khamovniki court extended Vasilyeva's house arrest to July 23.

Vasilyeva was placed under house arrest on November 23, 2012. The Moscow City Court later eased some restrictions, but banned her from having visitors from among the suspects or witnesses in the criminal case.

The main military investigation department /GVSU/, Investigative Committee, recently said the high-profile criminal case over theft of military property at Oboronservis affiliates currently brought together 18 cases where preliminary damage was estimated at over five billion roubles,

In October 2012, the Oboronservis case comprised 7 criminal cases, and the sum of damage was estimated at some four billion roubles. In February 2013, GVSU director Alexander Sorochkin said the Oboronservis case comprised 12 cases.

A search of Vasilyeva's apartment found 3.5 million roubles, a collection of paintings, and 1,173 pieces of jewelry worth over three million dollars.

The first cases against suspects in the Oboronservis and Slavyanka cases may go on trial early as the autumn.

There are four suspects in the Oboronservis case: former director general of the "Expert" legal support center Yekaterina Smetanova, former director general of Defense Ministry's property department Yevgenia Vasilyeva, former director general of a warehouse of the Moscow military district of Air Force and Air Defense Maxim Zakutailo, and former director general of the Prioritet company Irina Yegorova /investigators believe she set up four companies through which the proceeds from sales of military property were transferred - eds Itar-Tass/. They are accused under Article 159, Part 5 of Russia's penal code /grand fraud/. On top of that, Smetanova is accused under Article 204, Part 3 /commercial bribery/, and Zakutailo is accused of misusing funds.

Zakutailo and Yegorova are in custody, Vasilyeva is under house arrest and Smetanova is on recognizance.

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